Lace up your shoes, tune up your bike, share a ride or get on the bus! The 2014 Oregon Drive Less Challenge is set for October 6 – 19 and Central Oregonians have the opportunity join others from around the state in using active transportation options instead of driving alone. The Drive Less Challenge is a friendly statewide event that encourages and rewards Oregonians for using transportation options such as carpooling, walking, biking, teleworking and riding the bus.
The first Drive Less Challenge was held for 12 days in October 2013 and was a resounding success. In Central Oregon alone, we reduced our driving miles by 152,814 miles, saved 5,607 gallons of gasoline, kept 113,054 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and saved over $38,000 in transportation costs. Thousands of Oregonians from across the state eliminated an astounding total of 913,664 vehicle miles, exceeding our reduction goal of half a million miles by nearly double. By walking to the store, carpooling to work, biking with the kids to school and more, we made a positive impact on our health, community and planet.
We did great last year. Let’s do even better this year! Here’s how you can participate:
Simply visit the Drive Less Connect website at www.drivelessconnect.com and register to participate before October 6. It’s free! From there, you can visit the calendar where you can enter in all of your alternative commuting trips – from carpooling, to teleworking, to working a compressed work week. Watch your trips stack up and know that every time you enter a trip, you have the opportunity to win prizes throughout the week. And remember, the more trips you enter, the better chance you have at winning something.
Through the 2013 Drive Less Challenge, Deschutes Public Library employee Alicia Merrill won a transit pass and was able to enjoy an entire year’s worth of free public transportation with Cascades East Transit. “I really enjoyed participating in the Drive Less Challenge last year. The website made tracking the commutes easy. I was thrilled to win the transit pass and I’m hoping to participate again this year,” adds Alicia.
Kim Curley, Commute Options community outreach director and lead organizer for the Drive Less Challenge is excited to see the benefits that this year’s Challenge will bring. “It was evident last year that there is a growing interest in using transportation options and we think the broad involvement really shows how these alternatives can save money, improve community health and preserve our high quality of life in Central Oregon. And it’s fun. Biking with your kids to school or walking to work allows you to perhaps explore your community at a slower pace or get to know your neighbors.”
Commute Options can help you or your business get started by providing information, education and resources on transportation options available in Central Oregon.
Commute Options promotes choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information, contact Executive Director, Jeff Monson at 541-330-2647 or visit www.commuteoptions.org
Katy Bryce is a freelance writer in Bend. www.katybryce.com